How to Plant Caladium Bulbs

Updated June 18, 2018

Caladium's bright foliage mixture of red, pink and white make this tropical plant native to the Amazon River in Brazil, a popular plant for gardeners seeking to spruce up their gardens with some colour. Caladiums thrive in warm, humid locations where the soil is rich. They can be easily grown as either a houseplant or planted directly in the garden outdoors. Since they do best in a warm location, it's best to plant them outside after any signs of frost are over in your area.

Choose a planting container that is at least 6 inches deep to plant your caladium bulbs into. You want a container that will be big enough to house the bulb and still allow space for the roots to develop.

Fill you container with a rich potting medium such as peat moss and vermiculite. You want your soil to be rich and to be able to drain. If you choose a potting medium that does not drain properly, your bulbs can rot before they even sprout.

Dig a small hole in your soil and place the bulb at least 2 to 3 inches deep within it. Cover the bulb with soil and pat it down lightly.

Place your container in an area that will get enough light for the bulb to bloom. If you choose an area that doesn't get adequate sunlight, your bulbs may never bloom and will lay dormant or rot within the pot.

Water your pot regularly, keeping the soil lightly moist at all times. Caladiums love moist soil, so don't allow the soil to remain dry for long periods of time or your plant may begin to yellow and wilt. You also don't want your soil floating in water. If you desire, you can transplant your caladiums to an outside shady spot in your garden once they've sprouted.

Fertilise your plants with a liquid fertiliser once a month to keep the foliage colourful.

Store your caladium bulbs in the container they are growing in or in vermiculite once the leaves have died back. They will be ready to plant again during the next warm growing season.

Choose a location in your garden that does not get full sunlight. Caladiums grow best in an environment that gets partial to full shade.

Amend the soil with peat moss, if the soil you'll be planting your bulbs in is not rich. Dig out the area where you will be planting your bulbs and mix peat moss into the soil to make it richer.

Dig a hole that is 2 to 4 inches deep. Place your caladium bulb into the hole and cover with soil. If you have a large bulb, removing the centre eye will allow the plant to branch out and have more foliage.

Water the area where you've planted your bulbs regularly to keep the soil moist. Until your bulbs have sprouted, you don't want to flood the area with too much water or your bulbs may rot.

Fertilise your caladiums with a liquid fertiliser once a month. This will keep the foliage healthy looking and promote more growth.

Dig up your bulbs and store them in vermiculite, once the growing season has ended and the foliage has died off. If you live in a warm area of the country, digging up your bulbs will not be necessary as they should re-emerge on their own during the next warm growing season.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Vermiculite
  • Planting containers
  • Hand trowel
  • Caladium bulbs
  • Liquid fertiliser
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About the Author

For over 25 years, Joyce Starr has owned businesses dealing with landscape & design, lawn maintenance, specialty herbs and a garden center. She holds certificates in landscape design and xeriscaping. Starr shares her passion for nature in her writing, publishing articles on horticulture, outdoor recreation, travel as well as business.